Common Ground Conference: Anti-Semitism, Zionism and Dialogue
Ostad Undergraduate Fellow, Danya Belkin (Trinity '25), brings together students, scholars, and activists in this conference that she will organize as part of her Research Fellowship. Ms. Alyza Lewin, President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, will be the keynote speaker, with presentations by Ms. Belkin, as well as Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law, Diane Kunz, and other students. The focus of the conference is to unite and foster greater understanding of other minority groups on campus and the Jewish community to find "common ground," while discussing the intersection of anti-Semitism and Zionism/anti-Zionism.
Danya Belkin is a current sophomore at Duke planning to major in Political Science, with a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to pursue a law degree after her undergraduate studies. Before attending Duke, she participated in a gap year program in Israel (2020-2021). During her time at Duke, Danya has been active in the Jewish community. She is President of Duke Friends of Israel and founded Jewtinos @ Duke (a Jewish-Latino student group). This past summer she interned at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a legal nonprofit focused on combatting anti-Semitism.
Alyza D. Lewin is the President and General Counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a non-profit organization established to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all. The Brandeis Center conducts research, education and advocacy to combat the resurgence of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses. She is also a co-founder and partner in Lewin & Lewin, LLP where she specializes in litigation, mediation and government relations.
Ms. Lewin has represented numerous high-profile clients. Her work includes criminal defense, civil litigation, anti-discrimination, security clearance and Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) matters. In 2014, Lewin argued Zivotofsky v. Kerry (the "Jerusalem Passport" case) before the U.S. Supreme Court, a case involving the constitutionality of a law granting any American citizen born in Jerusalem the right to list "Israel" as the place of birth on his/her U.S. passport. Ms. Lewin was involved in the 12-year pro-bono litigation conducted by her firm in the District of Columbia courts and in the Supreme Court of the United States.